Lacan and Analysis

 

Sign

Saussure and the Sign: S (the Cut)

 

The Four Discourses

 

From Oedipus (as a myth)

To Oedipus (as a dream)

 

 

myth table.bmp

Figure 1: Levi-Strauss and the structural Analysis of Myth

 

And from The Oedipus Complex to

The Four Discourses, beginning with:

 

The Discourse of the Master (the second one in the figure)

 

 

U = University

M = Master

H = Hysteric

A = Analyst

 

lac4dis.bmp

 

Figure 2: Lacan’s Four Discourses

 

 

 

 

1.   Lacan’s Motto: “A signifier represents a subject for another signifier”

2.   What is a discourse?  The Subject/Object (inside/outside) relation is at once produced and negated by the mediation of language.  A statement always involves a speaker (subject of enunciation) and something spoken (the enounced: statement, utterance or “the said”).  Here the movement of metonymy (displacement, imaginary, syntagm, desire) drives towards the end of the sentence while the movement of metaphor (condensation, symbolic, abstraction, the Desire of the Other) drives towards the end (the death, removal, eradication) of the subject. 

3.   Introduction to the terms:

 

The Divided Subject (S with a strikethrough): the site of truth

 

The Master Signifier (S1): the master

 

The Signifier of Knowledge (S2): the slave

 

The Lost object (a): the symptom

 

The place on the top left is what Lacan calls the “Dominant” (after Roman Jakobson)

 

As the structure revolves (one place at a time, each letter taking the place of the next one) the discourses begin to produce effects on each other (e.g., in the discourse of the Analyst the Master signifier is exposed as a symptom: the lost object a).

 

 

 

 

 

SIGN: represents something for someone

Signifier: represents a subject for another signifier

 

Is the function of language communication?  If so does the subject exist outside language?

 

The syllogism (Man as the master of Death):

All men are mortal

Socrates is a man

Socrates is mortal

 

Freud’s account of the subject (page 205): “not one who knows what he is saying”

 

Lacan: “The unconscious is the condition of linguistics”

Linguistics: “The unconscious is the condition of language”

Lacan: “Language is the condition of the unconscious”

 

Symbol and Imaginary

Information (Pure Symbol)

O          O       :        O

O          I        :        O

I            O       :        O

I            I        :        I

 

Orthography and Syntax (machines)

 

Semantics (Imaginary)

Plus: ambiguity, emotional content and sense (the French sens means “sense” and “direction”)

 

The first symbols (“natural” symbols): “good forms”   

 

The Essential Difference

 

What the imaginary brings to a subject’s discourse is an inertia.  This inertia mixes up the discourse to the extent that when I want the best for someone, I really want the worst; when I love someone, it really is myself that I love; or when I think that I love myself, it is precisely at this moment when I love another.  This imaginary confusion is precisely what the dialectical exercise of analysis should dissipate. (Lacan 208).

 

Inertia: the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion.

 

Numbers (Cardinal before Ordinal)

Cardinal: 7 stones (symbolic—abstract)

Ordinal: 7th son (culture)

“Man is not master of his own house”

“The end of the symbolic process is that non-being comes to be”

 

The Image and the Symbolic: good forms and abstraction

 

 

goodbye 1.jpg

 

Bell Helicopter AH1Z

 

 

 

 

ah-1z resized.jpg

 

 

 

 

Lacan, Jacques, “Sign, Symbol, Imaginary,” On Signs, ed. Marshall Blonsky.

 

Links

Real Time Raindrops

Koch Snowflake

Signatures of Things

Cycloid